Happy Birthday Newbies Blog!!
It's been a very eventful year for me and the Blog, I've managed to progress and achieve a lot in the last year, something I am incredibly proud of.
My Blog has also had over 31,000 visits in that time.
In order to celebrate the anniversary, I thought I'd give a rundown of the year's highlights:
Becoming a UKOUG Volunteer
As the UKOUG had been an organisation which enabled me to make some fantastic friends and contacts, I was able to do something in return by becoming a volunteer. As Deputy Chair of the Oracle on Windows SIG I'm able to help pull together events and agendas aimed at providing a valuable community for Oracle Professionals.
My first ever presentation at the UKOUG UNIX SIG
This was the first time I had given a presentation, and although incredibly nervous, I had a lot of support on the day from David Kurtz and Niall Litchfield. I also received some good feedback which was very encouraging!
My first presentation at UKOUG 2005
Despite having been out the night before on the 'Blogger's Dinner', I managed to wake up fairly early on the day and give a good presentation.
I had a lot of friendly faces in the front row and again received some good feedback.
I think that, despite being already daunted by the prospect of giving a presentation at UKOUG, the scariest aspect was the stunts that some of my 'friends' pulled in the hours before the presentation, resulting in me being introduced by Tom Kyte.
I have to say he gave a very nice introduction, despite teasing me that he was going to get revenge for *that* water spilling incident.
As for Mogens, well, I still haven't forgiven him for being so distracted by the fact he was wearing a skirt that he forgot to show up.
Getting my degree
Finally getting my BSc in Computing was the culmination of four years of very hard work, on top of a full time job, and something that still makes me feel incredibly proud.
Starting work for SolStonePlus
The biggest turning point in my career over the last 12 months was being offered a job as Senior Consultant for SolStonePlus.
I had previously met Mark Rittman on a number of occassions at various UKOUG events, and conversations eventually turned to the fact that he was looking for a new Consultant, and I was looking for a new job.
Despite the potential geographical challenge, this was a fantastic opportunity and one I wasn't about to turn down.
The job is giving me the opportunity to expand my Oracle skills into the BI & DW arena, whilst working with the latest releases and technologies. It also enables me to carry on my work with the UKOUG and grow professionally.
UKOUG Northern Server Tech Day
Being a UKOUG volunteer, and typical 'Northern Lass', I jumped at the opportunity to help organise a Northern Server Tech Day special event held in the North of England. The day was a resounding success and I hope there are many more of them.
There were some fantastic presentations on the day by speakers including Jonathan Lewis, Doug Burns, Niall Litchfield and Jeff Moss.
Presentations can be downloaded from the UKOUG website.
Incidently, the event was also another one of my 'You shouldn't have done it' moments for which I am becoming infamous. Who else would have introduced Jeff Moss with the words 'If he can do it, anyone can' ??!!
Other SIG's are now looking at hosting their meetings in the North and this is something I'm really encouraging.
BI and Analytics event
This was another special event run by the UKOUG, and gave me the opportunity to meet and mingle with Oracle users in the BI arena.
Day with the SAS
What can I say - another day of ritual humiliation!
Gaining my OCA
My most recent achievement was passing my OCA exam - the certificate arrived in the post last week.
I'm on a Client site until October now, but will be looking to go for the full OCP after that.
The OCP track in general is something that is hotly discussed, but for me it was another thing I have worked hard for and managed to achieve.
It's now been added to the list of things for which I can say - 'I achieved that'.
So you can see, it's been a very eventful and positive year for me. I am most definitely on the up and am determined to make the most of the opportunities I have been given.
As a result there will be a few changes to the blog over the next couple of weeks, some of which have happened already.
I am no longer a Newbie myself, and professionally I need to move away from that tag.
However I still wish to provide a resource for Newbies, as I still believe that it is an area that is under-represented within the Oracle community.
I have a few ideas that I'm working through at the moment, so all I can say for now is 'watch this space'!!